RADIOACTIVE: The Women of Three Mile Island

An award-winning feature documentary about the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown--the worst commercial nuclear accident in U.S. history. RADIOACTIVE covers the never-before-told stories of four intrepid homemakers, two lawyers who took the local community's case all the way to the Supreme Court, and a young female journalist who was caught in the radioactive crossfire.

RADIOACTIVE features activist and actor Jane Fonda--whose film, CHINA SYNDROME (a fictional account of a nuclear meltdown), opened 12 days before the real disaster in Pennsylvania.

RADIOACTIVE also breaks the story of a radical new health study (in process) that may finally expose the truth of the meltdown. For over forty years, the nuclear industry has done all in their power to cover up their criminal actions, claiming, as they always do, "No one was harmed and nothing significant happened."

In this thrilling feminist documentary, indomitable women fight back against the nuclear industry Goliath to expose one of the worst cover-ups in U.S. history.

  • Heidi Hutner
    First Feature Film
  • Judith Helfand
    Love and Stuff; Cooked; Everything's Cool; 16 and Recovering; Harlem Street Singer; A Healthy Baby Girl; Blue Vinyl
  • Simeon Hutner
    Everything's Cool; Vessel; Mentor; Chicks in White Satin; When I Walk; Blue Vinyl; 16 and Recovering, and more...
  • Richard Saperstein
    Bluestone Pictures. Formerly with New Line; Weinstein Dimensions; exec producer -Seven, Frequency, John Q, The Punisher, 1408, The Mist, and Sony’s hit Hancock; Slingshot (shooting): numerous features either in production or development.
  • Heidi Hutner
    First feature film
  • Suzanne Kay
    Cape of Good Hope; Hero; Dianne Carroll (shooting), and other projects in development.
  • Beth Drazba
    Key Cast
  • Paula Kinney
    Key Cast
  • Joanne Doroshow
    Key Cast
    "Herself-Attorney representing Three Mile Island Alert"
    Sicko; The Panama Deception; Fahrenheit 9/11.
  • Michelle LeFever Quinn
    Key Cast
    "Herself- the journalist"
    Worked as an onscreen Journalist for various local TV news stations.
  • Joyce Corradi
    Key Cast
  • Linda Braasch
    Key Cast
  • Jane Fonda
    Key Cast
    Grace and Frankie, On Golden Pond, China Syndrome, and too many to list!
  • Joyce Corradi
    Key Cast
  • Aaron Datesman
    Key Cast
    "Himself-Scientist working on breaking new study "
  • Martijn Hart
    DP and Co-Director
    Chasing Coral, Brooklyn Connection; Saxman; cinematographer for Dutch and German TV; Vice, Al Jazeera, and many more.
  • Heidi Hutner
    First Feature film
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 16 minutes 47 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    500,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    New York
    United Kingdom
    December 4, 2022
Director Biography - Heidi Hutner

Heidi Hutner, Director, Writer, and Producer, is an associate professor of Literature, Sustainability, Women’s and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University, and a scholar of nuclear and environmental history, literature, film, and ecofeminism. She is the winner of Sierra Club Long Island's 2015 Environmentalist of the Year Award. At Stony Brook University, she teaches courses on the environmental literature, history, and film. Hutner chaired the Sustainability Studies Program for six years and was Associate Dean in the School of Marine, Atmospheric Science, and Sustainability. Hutner publishes widely as a writer and journalist on nuclear, environmental, environmental justice, and gender issues. Hutner regularly gives public and keynote talks at universities and conferences on environmental studies and ecofeminism. Her current book project, RADIOACTIVE: Women and Nuclear Disasters, will accompany the documentary and forms the basis of the documentary film project. Hutner's many books, book chapters, and essays have been published by Oxford University Press, University of Virginia Press, Palgrave Press, Rowman and Littlefield Press, Broadview Press, among others. As a journalist, she writes for the New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Public Radio International, Longreads, AEON, DAME, Spirituality and Health, Mom's Clean Air Force, Yes!, Tikkun, and more. Hutner produces the popular web video show, Coffee with Hx2, in which she interviews world experts, Nobel Peace Prize winners, McArthur Genius Fellows, and other luminaries on sustainability and environmental issues. She recently appeared on the NBC News Think episode, “Clean Water is a Human Right” and gave a Tedx on "Eco-Grief and Ecofeminism." Hutner was the associate producer of the off-Broadway climate-change musical, Endangered. For more about Heidi Hutner (and full list of her projects/publications), see her website: RADIOACTIVE is her first film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

RADIOACTIVE is deeply personal to me: after my mother's death from cancer and heart disease, after my own cancer diagnosis, and after my father's passing from cancer, I learned a powerful tale about my mother's involvement with antinuclear activism. This story would change my life.

During the late 1950s and early 60s, the US exploded one hundred nuclear bomb tests above ground in the Nevada Desert. The fallout spread across the US--poisoning cow and breast milk with Strontium 90. Mothers (including my own mother), fearing for the children's health, set out to stop the bomb tests. Thousands organized and formed a group called Women Strike for Peace. Fifty thousand women protested and lobbied their senators, congressmen, and President Kennedy. Women Strike for Peace succeeded in stopping atmospheric atomic bomb testing. Their efforts led to the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty --signed on by the U.S., the U.S.S.R., and the U.K.

After I discovered this remarkable and lost feminist history, I wondered: why I had never heard this story before, and what other women's nuclear stories remained hidden in the history and present, and at what cost?

This question led me to explore countless nuclear disaster sites across the globe--where I met, interviewed, and learned first-hand --from women and children victims, scientists, activists, and legal experts.

RADIOACTIVE: THE WOMEN of THREE MILE ISLAND is born out of my years of working intimately with disaster communities and writing about the toxic legacy of lies, cover-ups, and criminal actions perpetrated by nuclear industry and the the negative impacts from nuclear disasters on innocent communities. And I discovered, in particular, the disproportionate harm done to girls and women (most of all) to communities of color (environmental racism).

I also learned of the silencing of the science that exposes the harmful dangers of radiation, and in particular, of the burying of the work of women scientists and experts that challenges the false narrative that nuclear technology is safe, clean, and harmless.

These vital and heartbreaking stories have changed my life. I believe they will change yours.